Tag Archives: authentic

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Ever feel like a “less than” Momma? Do you struggle with not having “me time” to re-fuel and replenish? Or, do you have days when you feel ill-equipped to raise your child?  Have you hit a wall with your sanity because you’ve been over and over the same issues with your kids yet reap no rewards for your hard labor? Like me, have you read every parenting book imaginable in hopes of discovering the secret of success?

I’m here to say you are normal. Now, if you are prone to live in any one of these places for too long, you may need to look outside of yourself and seek someone to talk to about the possibility of depression. Still, you’re not damaged, or un-fixable. Motherhood is not a job for the faint of heart. It’s important to know you are not alone on your journey and you are not the only one who’s ever had a certain problem with your child. If fellow Mommas would be real, authentic, and transparent with each other, I have a feeling we’d have fewer pity parties as we wouldn’t live in the comparison trap.

I recently watched a clip of a job interview taking place between the boss of a company and various prospective employees, all captured on video. Interestingly, the job description was laid out with the following “must have” qualifications. “To be considered for this job, you must be able to cook, have mad cleaning skills, be a teacher,  a financial planner, shopper, counselor, negotiator, disciplinarian, nurse, manager of people, a taxi driver, event coordinator; oh, and you must be available at a moment’s notice. You’re required to work week-ends and holidays, and you don’t get sick days. Working 24/7 is a must. Oh, and before I forget, the job doesn’t pay anything.”

Seeing the faces of these poor, unsuspecting people in need of a job was hilarious! I mean they were incredulous at each and every requirement necessary for the job. Pure disbelief and ultimate shock that such mandates were being made. At the end of the video, the boss explained that the job being described was for that of a Mom. Each hopeful employee stared ahead like a deer blinded by a headlight before the boss’ words actually sunk in. Once the light bulb went off, each one laughed then smiled in fond remembrance of the Mom that raised them. It was a tearful moment as they replayed in their mind all of the things that a Mom does….all without pay, and oftentimes without a simple “thanks”.

Often, the things we beat ourselves up most about as a Mom, aren’t on a child’s radar. Children are incredibly forgiving! We as Moms, are our own worst critic. Sure, there is always room for improvement and each day offers new grace. Upon asking a child what they love most about his/her Mom, you’ll hear qualities such as, “she’s pretty”, “she plays with me”, “I like it when she jumps on the trampoline with me”, “she is funny!”, and “she lets me help her in the kitchen”. Simple, yet forever imprinted on their little hearts.

So try to see yourself through the eyes of your child(ren). Time is an invaluable commodity. Stopping what you’re doing to pay them attention and engage with them through play is huge! I’ll never forget how much fun it was as a child to see my own Dad skip down the aisle of a grocery store. I asked him to and he obliged. I’m sure inside he felt like an ig-mo skipping down the aisle of a store. I can imagine that anyone who witnessed his silly skipping knew in their heart he was doing it for his daughter. I loved it and giggled at the sight of it! Umpteen years later, this simple skip stands out in my mind as a happy, beloved memory between me and my Dad.

 

 

social media (sometimes) makes me feel badly about myself

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social media (sometimes) makes me feel badly about myself

So have you ever felt this way about your favorite social media outlets? I know I have. I don’t want to throw the proverbial ‘baby out with the bath water’ but, I feel like it’s worth talking about, especially for my fellow “Stay-at-home-Mom” (SAHM) pals.

Facebook has been blamed for contributing to many a failing marriage, as has texting, emailing, and numerous other social media mediums. Why? Well for one, since our cellphones allow us the privacy of communicating with whomever we want, whenever we want, it can be risky. A healthy marriage can’t subsist on secrecy.

Probably my biggest beef with Facebook, in particular, is that its posts tend to be well-edited, snapshot moments of our lives. You know what I’m talking about: “look at us on our awesome two-week vacay”, or “we are having the best time on our third trip to Tahiti this month”, or “my college grad son just got an awesome job making $300,000/year straight out of the classroom!” Still yet, we’ve all read posts such as: “I have the best husband/wife ever”, or “my husband is the greatest; he just brought me a dozen red roses for absolutely no reason” , or “look at the new car/house we bought after my husband’s huge bonus!”

While my examples may be a bit exaggerated, oftentimes these type of posts leave us unhappy with our current situation, without us even realizing we weren’t happy in the first place. Sure, we are happy for our friends who are doing this or that; it’s that we find ourselves comparing our current situation in life to their current post. Some have even dubbed this as “Facebook envy”. WHOA! It has a name. Kinda sad, if you ask me.We are all guilty of tweaking our posts to make us look our best whether in pictures or in words. As if that’s not enough, we use flattering filters, cropping, and other such tools to edit and enhance even further.

Just imagine being in a lonely or loveless marriage and reading some of the posts mentioned. Consider a single parent on a fixed income reading such posts who can’t afford to take any sort of trip because it’s just not in the budget. Or someone who is recently divorced or even widowed reading all about your seemingly perfect marriage. Perhaps someone is going through a terrible battle with their health and their feed is full of such inaccurate portrayals of life.

I confess, since being a “SAHM,” my time spent on social media has been drastically cut. No longer do I have the “luxury” to peruse posts portraying the annual “Christmas card” moments of their lives. I have to admit, I have felt better and less bothered in doing so. I have wrestled from time to time with going ‘off the grid’. The only problem with that is that social media has become the prominent way we communicate with the outside world. No longer do we pick up the phone to call someone; we jump on social media and chat away utilizing the very latest in technology to enhance our communication experience. Gone by the wayside are face-to-face conversations where we can read one’s facial expressions rather than analyze the tone of an email or post.

Honestly, I could continue my soapbox rant on and on and on with my opinions and thoughts of the whole social media thing, and they would be just that, opinions. Instead, I feel it a better use of my words to encourage us all to be more mindful of what we post and how we portray ourselves to others. Imagine what it would be like to read more authentic posts. I’m not suggesting loading up our feed with negative babble; rather portray life as it is rather than “photo shop” everything to make our lives appear to be better and more exciting than they actually are. After all, what does this accomplish? We probably wouldn’t continue on this path if we thought we had the capability to make others feel jealous, or even hurt.

In conclusion, no need to ditch social media. Consider living in the real world among your “friends” on social media. Perhaps even weed through those who aren’t truly friends, keeping only those you want to maintain communication with. Life is precious and so are the people who make it, so why not mind your words a little more closely and seek to encourage instead of building yourself up to be someone you’re not. “‘Cause ain’t nobody got time for that!”

 

 

 

 

 

“Oh no, you didn’t!”

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“Oh no, you didn’t!”

Ever heard yourself say that? Be honest.

Awwwww yeah! I overhear myself saying ‘that phrase’ quite often, all with a cringing feeling deep down inside. If you have a three-and-a-half year old, surely you must know what I’m talking about!

So with that stage being set, while at a recent outdoor park play date, I overheard a young Mom, quite possibly half my age mind you, yelling a harsh “NO!” to their youngin’. The pure angst in her voice couldn’t be ignored, not by me anyway. This Mom was hot, and I’m not talking temperature here. This stranger, yet fellow Momma and I locked eyes through our sunglasses. I couldn’t help but let out a knowing giggle at the disgust she felt with her kiddo. No, I wasn’t laughing at her, or making fun of her predicament; I could relate to her frustration of once again having to correct the same. negative. behavior. yet. again. in her young child.

After “the incident” passed, we Moms found ourselves commiserating over this particular stage in our childs’ lives, which eventually led to laughter and smiles. It was medicine to my heart to witness another Momma, regardless of her being a stranger, on this journey of motherhood feeling such frustration. Somehow, the comedy comes in to play when you can laugh at someone else’s child, rather than your own!

Community is so important. Like-minded, equally invested others who are walking the same, if not similar path. For me, it helps diffuse the anger and frustration I may be experiencing, just knowing I’m not alone. We need each other and we can learn from one another, if we will allow it.

The lesson learned: don’t take yourself too seriously, let your ‘hair’ down, keep the emotions in check and realize no one is alone on this journey. We’re all in it together in some form or another, as long as we’re being authentic. Being a “super Mom” is a myth; don’t fall prey to that lie. Allow God to use you in someone else’s life and recognize how He may be giving you a chuckle while identifying with someone else in the same boat.